Students learn true identity at Summit Conference


In today’s culture students are looking for meaning but also community. Many fear that standing for the truth of a biblical worldview will leave them isolated and alone.

That’s where Summit came to the rescue of Rayann, a student attending Summit’s first session of the summer.

Rayann was recently adopted by a Christian family and surrendered her life to Jesus. Hoping to spend time “alone with Jesus” this summer, she discovered Summit through an internet search for “Jesus Camps.” Rayann told her adoptive parents about Summit and asked if she could attend the two-week conference in Colorado. They responded with excitement. They had homeschooled all of their children and had taught Summit materials.

Before agreeing to send Rayann, they had one condition: she had to read the entire Understanding the Times book.

“Don’t get too excited because we couldn’t find it!” Rayann said with a laugh.

While at Summit, Rayann bought the entire Summit Worldview Library and set a goal of reading all three books in a year. She hopes to involve her parents in the reading project as well.

Coming to Summit with little knowledge about the program, Rayann’s expectations were low. However, before stepping onto campus she pulled up the conference schedule and read through the topics. One talk stood out to her the most:

Homosexuality: Nature or Nurture with Christopher Yuan

Rayann had dealt with feelings of same-sex attraction from a young age, though she told herself “You’re not going to do anything with this, if you do, you are hurting someone else, yourself, and your family. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, so I decided to find joy in other things.”

Still, Rayann felt alone with her conflicted feelings.

Who would understand?

At Summit, Rayann listened intently to presentations from world-class speakers. “Christopher Yuan is the best Christian speaker I have ever heard. Summit is amazing. All I want is to sit down with my pastors, youth leaders, and people like Dr. Jeff Myers and Yuan and all these wonderful people that just want to bring me closer to Christ,” Rayann said.

Hearing Yuan’s testimony of coming out of the gay lifestyle gave Rayann hope that she wasn’t alone in her struggle. “It was very hard to get through the lecture and it was very emotional, but I was happy for all of it and I was ready and wanted more. I wanted to get more information and learn how to cope with this while still serving God with who I am. His words were very impacting.”

Rayann’s passion shines through.

She believes God has big plans for her life, and she decided that her relationship with Christ, rather than her sexuality, is what defines her identity. Along with the Summit team, she is praying for God to help her pursue “holy sexuality” by living a lifestyle that is chaste and faithful to God.

Now Rayann feels free to pursue her dream of being an evangelist and sharing God’s love with orphans. “You don’t realize that you haven’t been loved enough until you have so much love that it’s overwhelming. And I want to be able to give that to other children.”

Every summer thousands of Summit students like Rayann learn how to love God with their hearts as well as with their minds. Though the environment is intellectually challenging, it is also deeply relational. When students know they are loved, they find it easier to open up and accept God’s answers to life’s tough questions.

If a student in your life is wrestling with a hard topic—consider joining us for a two-week experience in Colorado, Pennsylvania, or Tennessee this summer.